#72 Alison


Temple: Maegamiji – I’ve gone out of order as I came down from Ishizuchi-san on the ropeway which left me ahead on the path. This is the 64th temple on the traditional route and has a spectacular main hall.

Dedication: I know Alison from college and we lived close to each other in Highbury for the past few years. She’s great fun and always good to talk to. She came to my early yoga classes and I really appreciate her support. Thanks, Al.

Picture: a massive pair of geta sandles outside a shrine. These are the type Tay used to wear back at university.

The onsen near this temple was fun. The water was incredibly hot and sulphurous and the guys in there were real locals, including a heavily tattooed Yakuza (I assume), who were quite boisterous and talkative. Some onsen are resorts where talking is kept to a minimum and some are real hubs where people go after work to unwind. I tactfully avoided a conversation about having a big nose like the tengu masks on Mt Ishizuchi with one guy.

My left shoulder is hurting through the day now and my lower back is in pain as soon as I take my pack off. I’m coming up to the end of enlightenment – really I’m looking forward to the end of the road and going back to sleeping in a bed – is that enlightenment?